Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Equipment, Travel > Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS

Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

World-wide topographic maps for your Android Smartphone

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 30 Jun 2006
PaulM's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lancashire, England
Posts: 134
Advice on GPS

I am planning to ride across Russia in 08 but do Euorpean trips once or twice a year.
I have a budget of £300 to £400 or so for GPS purchase.
Does anyone know what mapping, if any, is available in that part of the world and any advice on a GPS would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
Old 30 Jun 2006
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Denmark, Western Australia (previously Derbyshire, UK)
Posts: 94

Hi Paul,

With £300 - £400 to spend, the following might be useful options:

1) Garmin Quest - £350 with a bike mount, but this package only comes with UK mapping:
1a) Garmin Quest EU v8 £300 (latest mapping) No bike mount. Check out the detailed review linked on the page below
2) Garmin Quest2 -out of your budget at £460, but comes with Western Europe mapping (see the link for coverage in each country)
3) GPSMAP 76c - £250 no bike mount supplied, but does have Western Europe Mapping Basemap and CD, although I don't know how many countries worth of mapping could be stored in the relatively small memory which, unlike it's newer 76xxx sister models is not upgradable.
I would want a Touratech bracket for any unit I was using - mainly for rough road/piste isolation from vibrations, but also lockable so it could be left on the bike at fuel stations etc.

With all the units above the displays show 2d mapping, so it's almost like pulling a paper map out of your pocket and seeing where to go - it's quite hard to relate it to the road ahead and may result in you not paying due attention to the road, unless you pull over first of course. Item 3) also has a smaller display.

4) TomTom Rider - £375, UK only mapping, but Europe available as an upgrade. This is a fantastic product to use whilst riding (within the limited map coverage) as it has a 3d display; glance down and you see a simplified representation of the same place you're riding through and can immediately tell where to go at each junction without having to work out how a 2d map relates to your road-view. But it will only tel you your WGS84 datum based grid position (Long &Lat) when you're off map.

I'm afraid this isn't an exhaustive list, have a look at http://www.touratech.de/shop_uk/enter.html then 'Navigation' to see more options and check that you can get a bike bracket for the one you choose.

The Garmin units alllow you to continue to navigate off-map to waypoints in an 'as the crow flies' manner. They also record a 'track-log', that is a breadcrumb trail of where you've been, so you can retrace your steps, or look at your route on Google Earth when you get home.

With any unit, especially the 'offers' above you should query which version of mapping software is supplied. As well as roads changing each year - bypasses, new motorways, new one way systems etc, the coverage for countries is vastly improved. NB only GB/France/Germany and a couple of other countries have high 90s% road coverage in the electronic mapping, the others are catching up each year.

The most complete European (Western!) mapping above is maybe option 2 - the Quest2, but this doesn't cover the Baltics, the most Eastern it gets is :
"Czech Republic: Prague, Brno, Plzen, Karlovy Vary, Ostrava and Mlada Boleslav
Greece: Athens"

Which presumably means it only covers these towns, not the whole of the countries.

Garmin's current mapping can be reviewed here:
'City Navigator' - http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/citynavEuro.jsp
'Worldmap' - http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/WM.jsp

You really need to use the tools to view the map, zoom in & explore - the 'Worldmap' product only shows most of the main roads and gets them to within 1/2 mile or so of their correct position, it doesn't support auto-routing either. In Africa I found it completely missed whole towns, had towns where there were none and gave towns wrong names. So to find an address or navigate without the help of a map it is of very little use.

TomTom's mapping can be reviewed here:
http://www.tomtom.com/products/section.php?ID=146&Section=252&Language=1&TT=ih1m1 lvbe6n17vtojk20qpm2j3
- Actually it seems that there are quite a few W European countries at 99% map coverage now.

Now, if I were planning your trips, I'd probably be dissapointed at the lack of electronic mapping for the Balkans and Russia, sure Garmin's worldmap gives very limited coverage, but it does generally gives the correct positions for towns and when used with a paper map ahead of your trips, you could put a series of waypoints into a GPSR based on the town locations and have a directional arrow display to the next town, along with the town name (I am not sure if cyrillic is supported and if it is could vary by brand & model). This could be useful in my view. You don't need a unit that supports mapping to do this, but maybe the mapping would be helpful through Western Europe anyway.

You can either use the manufacturer's software - Such as Garmin Mapsource Worldmap, or 3rd party software, such as TTQV from Touratech. This can be downloaded for unrestricted trial use for 25 days from http://ttqv.com/main.php?content=21&download=13

Did you pick up a Touratech brochure at HUUK? The description on P140 for TTQV says it can work with Garmin maps & there are many different internet offers for free Garmin maps (I've not seen them, unless they're talking about pirate copies or 3rd party Garmin mapping projects such as tracks4africa) and it will load maps into the Garmin GPS map memory. But I'm sure you would have to buy a license for the map from Garmin to activate it on the GPS. Now they do also sell their own Eastern Europe DVD Routing & Balkan States (P153), Romania, Western CIS etc eMaps. But I think these can only be used on the PC, some can do auto-routing, then the routes can be downloaded to the GPS. I have downloaded the free trial, but have not yet had time to have a play with it with my Garmin Maps (I need to find the time & the CDs).

So I hope there is some useful information here, without too much confusion (I did get side tracked once or twice, so ask if anything is not clear) there are also other suppliers of electronic mapping on the internet with user-created maps, such as the excellent tracks4africa, this has spin-offs such as tracks4australia. I don't know if there are Eastern European/CIS/Asia equivalents. Also check out Google Earth, if you haven't already, this can have enough detail to show towns and roads and gives Long/Lat of the cursor position.

NB another point worth considering is that you are more likely to get a 3d Garmin GPS receiver at an affordable price if you leave your purchase until your 2008 trip.

A GPS76c on offer at £99 (at GPSW.co.uk) plus TTQV at £123 +Touratech Eastern Europe at £40 + RAM mount might be useful to you - but you will need to research it to see if it's what you want first, particularly in respect of the small display and buttons that aren't designed for gloves. At least it gives your current location in many local grid sytems to use with any map (as afaik all the Garmins do).

Hope this helps, ride safely.


PS also see this thread for more detailed information on Garmin map products....

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hanoi - rental advice Victor Franco Southern Asia 3 24 Mar 2007 03:15
africa route advice please (border crossings) deebee Route Planning 8 29 May 2006 22:11
advice for traveling from spain- senegal tomjones sub-Saharan Africa 5 28 Feb 2006 19:39
Any advice on shipping a car back to the UK from Dakar? surfwagon sub-Saharan Africa 3 24 Sep 2005 00:05
Advice? S. Italy,Greece,Turkey, Black Sea MCP Europe 2 12 May 2003 04:06


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:51.